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February 17, 2009

And where in the stimulus bill might money for AY come from?

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder asks and answers the question of the day:

So, where in the stimulus bill might there be money for Atlantic Yards? There aren't too many places and there's surely much competition for relatively limited funds.

[Keep in mind that Atlantic Yards developer Bruce Ratner is currently spending thousands of dollars on lobbyists to answer the same question.]

Discretionary funding
There's some discretionary money for governors; the emphasis is on education but "other government services" are included.
...
Of $53.6 billion, 18.2% would mean $9.8 billion spread nationally--not a huge amount of money for each state. The National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) calls it the State Stabilization Fund, which has "flexible funding for governors’ priorities."

Mass transit and housing
NASBO also identifies $9.3 billion in the bill for mass transit. (I couldn't find the reference.) The bill has provision for a "Public Housing Capital Fund." There's also $1 billion for a "Community Development Fund," but that money would go to grantees that received funding in FY 2008.

There's an additional $2.25 billion nationally for "capital investments in low-income housing tax credit projects;" New York State would get a relatively small fraction.

Might that involve Atlantic Yards? Well, the December 2006 KPMG report (p. 21 of PDF) to the Empire State Development Corporation states that developer Forest City Ratner would be eligible for such tax credits, a benefit of $95,000 to $165,00 per unit. Then again, the stimulus bill says that not less than 75 percent of the funds would have to be committed within a year.

Overview in the press
The New York Times, provides an overview of the impact of the stimulus on New York, identifying "$24.6 billion for Medicaid, education, transportation, and other priorities."

Drilling down, the newspaper reported $1.3 billion for transit projects, "nearly all of which would go to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. About $500 million would go to the Fulton Street Transit Center in Lower Manhattan. As for the rest: The authority has a long list of other projects that could get some of the stimulus money, including subway and commuter rail station renovation and improvements to behind-the-scenes infrastructure like rail yards and shops.

The Vanderbilt Yard was not on the MTA's initial list, but the decision is apparently in the hands of Gov. David Paterson.

Then there's the matter of an amendment that seemingly would have precluded money being spent on stadiums, which never made it to the final bill.

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Posted by lumi at February 17, 2009 5:17 AM